John Updike is the writer of the short story “A&P.” John through the story describes a quick experience of three young girls. The creator presents the story from the perspective of a teenage cashier working in a nearby supermarket. The story is written from a first person point of view perspective, thru which the reader experiences the narrator’s feelings and point of view.
The activities that occur in the story “A&P” are presented as they are viewed and told through the eyes of the narrator, Sammy. From the story, Sammy is a 19-year-old boy who is a cashier at the grocery store, which is where the story takes place. Sammy is at that age where he is becoming an adult. However, he does not want to be a follower like any other adult around him. The reader can know that Sammy often observes the customers that visit the grocery by reading through the statement that says, “The sheep pushing their carts down the aisle – the girls walking against the traffic (not that we have one-way signs or anything) – were pretty hilarious” (Updike, 1961). At this point, the reader can understand Sammy’s inner personality.
Despite the fact that Sammy gives the impression of telling the truth, it is somehow undependable because it is based on his subjective perspective. Such a perspective could affect the manner in which the reader interprets the story. The use of first person point of view in a story could be tricky because the narrator’s thoughts and opinions must be evaluated rather simply recognized. The description presented by Sammy of the three girls that walk in the store creates a vivid imagery to the reader. The imagery is exclusively centered on the critical thoughts of the narrator, which is reinforced by the fact that Lengel views the girls as disruption to his store, whereas to Sammy, the girls are attractive and rebellious.
The use of point of view in literature is important because of it a presentation of the view of whoever is narrating the story. The short story, “A & P,” is told in first person point of view, which is evident from the use of first person pronouns in the text. Through the use of point of view, the reader can understand the story because the narrator takes the reader into their mind from which they have access to every detail of the narrator’s thoughts.
In case the story had not been written in first person point of view, the interpretation would have been in a very different approach. The use of a different point of view to narrate the story would have had a significant impact on the meaning of the story, which would automatically alter its effects on the reader. For instance, if the narrator were either the customers or the manager, there would have been different events hence different event presentation. The reader can know what Sammy is thinking at a particular time since they can read his mind. The reader can know Sammy’s personality from the way he sees girls hence having a better understanding of the story and knowing Sammy better. The use of first person point of view in this story is significant because it acts as illustrations of Sammy’s transition into adulthood.
Updike, John: “A & P” from Pigeon Feathers and Other Stories by John Updike, copyright © 1962, and renewed 1990 by John Updike. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.